Monthly Archives: August 2013

Snippet Sunday: Geese Genocide

Snippet Sunday: Geese Genocide

      Wow – it has been AGES since our last Snippet Sunday. Yikes!
      This week, the excerpt is a scene from “Inferno”. It is a first draft and it is insane. A bit… Poor Alexander… So without first ado…

– – – – – – – – – – –
      Maybe there was a little barbarian in everyone, certainly he had seen atrocities since the Fall; things other people probably knew for certain that they were not capable of either.
      But not me. It shouldn’t have happened to me. I’m better than them, those fucking weakling peasants.
      And now he would have to find a new prize for his harem. A replacement for the ginger witch whose love he would never earn and whose power he was loathe to test again. But not today. Because today was the first ever ‘Empire Day’ and Isaac had plans for it.
      “Well the fat bastard is welcome to ‘em. I’m not sticking around to watch them all lick his arse.”
      Alexander supposed the area had been pretty enough, before. He hovered above the shore, watching out over the water, pensively. It was technically the Pacific, but it was not like it was in the movies, with golden sand, palm trees, and bikinis as far as they eye could see. But, it was nice. Tall, lush evergreens, open fields (which, admittedly, would need a lot of work to be farmable come spring, but which would probably benefit from all the loamy mud), rocky beaches with kelp and driftwood.
      Winds swept around him, whipping his hair about his face as he soared south. Miles flew past in a blur and he rejoiced in the surge of energy pulsating within each vein and vessel in his body. The birds were confused, their polar navigation all kinds of screwed up thanks to the blast in the east and the smaller eruption down at Rainier. He nearly collided with a flock of geese, honking bitchily at him when his flight path disrupted their perfect V formation.
      “Noisy, filthy bastards,” he said to himself, casting a glance of his shoulder at the birds. “Good thing you’re so fucking tasty, or I’d make it my personal business to eradicate the whole lot of you.”
      Geese genocide. Spectacular. But dear old Mum would never forgive me if she had to ever forgo her precious Christmas goose.
      Then again, he decided, even if she had survived this collapse of civilization — and who knew what was going on in Britain — chances are there would not be many Christmases left for anyone. Not if Isaac had his druthers. Empire Day? What a fucking joke.
      He was well and truly into a mental tirade when he realized he had stopped moving. Puzzled, he furrowed his brow and focused his energies to push himself forward. Alexander did not budge.
      “What the bloody…” he said, murmuring to himself. Casting a quick look about the vicinity, Alexander could see nothing or no one to be blocking his momentum. Anger burbled up within him, hastily replacing the minor panic which had begun to rise in his belly. Backward? No. Up? No. Down? Shit! Concentration lost, Alexander tumbled toward the ground in a whirl of flailing limbs. He landed with a hideous squelching crunch, his teeth snapping shut on his tongue. His mouth filled with the metallic tang of blood and as the abyss swallowed him, Alexander wondered if anyone would even notice he was gone.
– – – – – – – – – – –
      And that’s it for today’s snippet. What did you think? Comments, questions, suggestions appreciated – let me hear about it below!

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

A Change of Pace

A Change of Pace

      So, I have been very quiet this month, haven’t I?
      Its okay – I just have little to say. It has been a rather strange few weeks or so and I am sort of at a loss at the moment.
      Maybe part of it is mourning the Harper Voyager thing. I can admit that, yes? I really was getting more and more certain as each week slipped by that This. Was. Going. To. Happen.
      …and then it didn’t.
      And its cool. I know “Incandescence” needs a bit more tweaking. I’m going to try and recruit a content editor as soon as “Inferno” is done – so that I can have a professional, critical eye read it and tell me what works and what does not.
      Still, for all that I am a wee bit depressed about the WIPs, I am doing loads of writing these days. None of it ‘professional’ and all of it just for funsies with my gaming friends… but it is writing, it is fun, and I am really enjoying it.
      Now for the ‘change of pace’.
      This week I began a new shift at work. And Jack, silly man, started a new semester at college (I was supposed to do as well, but alas, money…). So we’re shifting things up, getting our ducks in a row for this new schedule we’re living, and basically – just figuring it out as we go.
      Its like, we 20-somethings again.
      …only we’re 30-somethings.
      Yikes.
      There will be new snippets and stuff in the coming months.
      I just need to complete “Inferno” first.

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

Colorful

Colorful

      I sort of hate the term “people of color”.
      It makes me feel like I’m segregating people, and I’m all about integration.
      Also, since I don’t “qualify” as a “person of color”, I’m left out and damn it, I’m a whole conglomeration of pale, pink, yellow, red, brown (freckles)… tee-hee. Okay, that’s petty, but sort of true.
      Its occasionally difficult, as a fantasy writer, to find that perfect phrase to describe a character’s complexion or outward appearance without coming off as cliché or politically correct or worse, racist. At least, I have come across it and found it to be troubling.
      “Incandescence” features a pretty big and diverse cast, but the three “mains” are all related and all “white”. Hannah is pale with gorgeous reddish hair and weird eyes. Michael has his grandmother’s coloring – exotically tan with big dark eyes and brown hair – but he’s still considered
Caucasian. I picture a sort of Italian/Grecian type. Like my own mother – you’d never guess we’re related since I’m all pale Irish with reddish-brown hair and she’s black hair, dark eyes, olive skin. And their great-great-grandmother, who has gone grey/white, was dark-haired, dark-eyed, and olive skinned in her youth.
      Many of the other characters at the Freehold are white. But some are biracial, or Hispanic, or Black, or Asian, or Native American, or Middle Eastern. Because this is a “real world” novel, its pretty clear that a fellow named Sreejith is likely of Indian heritage. I don’t have to beat his skin color and appearance into their heads.
      But what about Luke and Beth? Their skin color is mentioned when they’re introduced, I believe, but not again afterward. Because it doesn’t matter to the story – they are important for who they are, and what they do, not for being black.
      It makes me think of the controversy that popped up (especially from young people on Twitter) after “The Hunger Games” movie came out. No one was upset that Thresh was a “big, black dude” (semi-barbarian, and compared to an ox by Katniss). But dear Lord, when they saw that a character that they liked and empathized with was black (sweet little Rue) – they flipped out.
      And I’m not sure why – it was made very clear in the book that Rue had dark skin. Without coming out and saying it in modern US-slang (calling her black or saying outright that she was likely of some African descent)… it was apparent to Jack & I when we first read it.
      Whitewashing. That’s what they call it when we (globally a minority) privileged Americans assume all characters are “like us”. Most of my fantasy worlds include a vast variety of skin colors. Frequently, people are what I would call “shades of brown”.
      But how to get that across without repetition of “chocolate” “teak” “mahogany” “brown” “tan”… and is it offensive to use things like “white as milk” or “dark as fine chocolate”? It wouldn’t bother me if someone said I was the color of vanilla ice cream, but maybe someone who has been marginalized for their skin color would object to being compared to food?
      Its a pretty complex subject, when it comes down to it, and I’m not qualified to give advice or anything. But I think it is important to think about these things; not to get mired in them, but to really consider things like this.
      Or not.
      I mean, who am I to say?
      …aaaaand now I’ll be singing that Leah Andreone song all damn evening.

Love & Rainbows (hah!),
P.P.

Over.

Over.

      Yeah, Camp NaNo 2013 is over.
      I “won”, barely, and really – to be totally honest – I may have estimated a teensy-weensy bit high when I was counting my hand-written pages from the trip. There was just no time to transcribe them all, plus deal with the move and unpacking/repacking/storing, my sick husband, a teething puppy, and all matter of financial drama!
      Anyway – this is a short note to complete my Camp NaNo month.
      Its over.
      Its over… until November! YAY!

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.